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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Guest Entry by Carole Groux - You Can't Beat Free!

Carole and I met through a sweet friend (thanks Martha). We've had the opportunity to discuss not just the bargain trash we find around town, but our emotional trash as well. Carole's story is lots of fun because she does this just for fun. She gets very clever in where she looks for trash and now, we get to learn (and be entertained) from her experience.

My first garage sale experience was when I was 8 years old growing up in Mississippi. This would be the early 70s and I was visiting my Aunt Mildred in Jackson. Not only was I curious what happened in peoples' garages, I was excited that I was getting to spend the morning by myself with my famous Aunt who was a REAL inventor! And she even gave me a dollar to spend on our excursion. My job that morning was to read off the addresses that were circled in the long list of "yard sales" from The Clarion Ledger my aunt had planned out that morning and then mark them off with an X after we had gone to them. I bought shirts, shorts, toys, and some "gifts" for my parents and siblings all with my one dollar that morning. I was definitely sold on this new way to shop where everything was a nickel or a dime.

Fast forward to today and I'm still bargain hunting with the best of them. My favorite thing to do is frequent "Dirt Cheap" in my hometown, Starkville, Mississippi with my parents.

I visit the "recyclery", a.k.a., The Dump on my drive into town from my house in North Carolina. Here is my best recent find, a water fountain that allegedly didn't work (as stated by the gentleman dropping it off).

Guess what? It really did work. The owner just had it put together incorrectly and also had the pump turned all the way down to low. I flipped this on Craigslist and made $65. Another treasure I found in someone's trash pile was this elegant, appearingly hand-crafted wrought iron wine holder. I sanded a bit of rust off it and got $50 for it from a Craigslist shopper.

And another great jewel from the dump was this Danby refrigerator, in complete working order! I wanted to flip it but my husband thought it would be good to keep in the kids' retreat for their sodas, gatorades, etc. - He won on this one. It is rare that he sees as much value as I in the treasures I find. So, I kept this one as a subtle reminder of how lucky he is to have such a savvy shopper of a wife!

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